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Double cruise call at Molo San Cataldo: great teamwork in the port of Taranto


The cruise season at the Port of Taranto is now in full swing, and today an important milestone for the development of the port of call traffic was made official. For the first time, in fact, two large cruise ships have been allowed to dock at Molo San Cataldo (Pier 1) at the same time: Costa Crociere’s Fascinosa (West Side) and TUI’s Mein Schiff 5 (East Side), the latter on her maiden call in the Ionian port.

This goal was made possible thanks to the full synergy between the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea and the Harbour Master’s Office, which operationally coordinated the activities in charge of the contracting station SOGESID S.p.A., which was awarded the project called “Stralcio – I Lotto funzionale: Extraordinary maintenance works aimed at restoring the seabed levels on the eastern side of Molo San Cataldo”, definitively approved by the MASE Decree of 18 January 2024.

Today’s result represents the final step in a process that had been underway for some time, since the East Side of Molo San Cataldo was completely unusable due to the silting that had limited its design height. This problem was overcome through the adjustment works carried out by the Port Network Authority and tested in 2021, which allowed the quay to be extended to a length of 360 metres, with a single alignment. 

Following the latest dredging and seabed restoration work, the East Side of the pier has been modernised and made available to accommodate large cruise ships, with a draught of 8.5 m for the entire side, a figure confirmed by the Harbour Master’s Office Order no. 173 dated 27 June 2024 on “Maximum draught allowed at the quays of the port of Taranto and mooring restrictions”.

In short, the work made it possible to make the seabed even and bring it up to the level provided for by the Port Master Plan, an operation carried out with all the measures and environmental safeguards required by the regulations in force.

Participating in the work were Impresa D’Aloisio s.r.l., which subcontracted part of the work to the company La Dragaggi s.r.l., Prisma s.r.l. – which took care of the environmental monitoring activities – and Ecotaras SpA, which supplied the necessary environmental equipment.

TUI’s Mein Schiff 5 is therefore the first cruise ship ever to moor along the East Side of Molo San Cataldo, which today presents itself to the port and city community with an unprecedented seascape, already an iconic place and symbol of the connection area between the Port and the City of Taranto.

“There is great enthusiasm and satisfaction today said the President of the Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea, Professor and Lawyer Sergio Prete – for the arrival of the two cruise lines simultaneously at Molo San Cataldo of the Port of Taranto. The goal achieved is the result of intense work and continuous dialogue with the Harbour Master’s Office and the companies involved, in particular Taranto Cruise Port Srl, whom we thank for having efficiently carried out all the planned interventions in a very short time, allowing the regular docking of the ships scheduled along both sides of the Molo San Cataldo. I believe it is my duty to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who, in various ways and as part of a productive team effort, made it possible to achieve this result, increasing the attractiveness of the Ionian port and strengthening its role as a cruise destination in the Mediterranean. With future further works such as the retreat of the East gate, the waterfront and the completion of the Falanto building, Molo San Cataldo and the connection area between the port and the city will become particularly attractive to tourists and citizens alike”.